Trigeminal neuralgia is a common cause of facial pain, characterized by shock-like pain affecting one or more branches of the trigeminal nerve. When conservative treatment fails and microdecompression is not indicated, percutaneous procedures are helpful. This percutaneous approach is done by a puncture up to the Gasserian ganglion, through the foramen ovale. Although simple and safe, this puncture demands some expertise from neurosurgeons. For that, a partnership between neurosurgeons and bio-engineers has developed a model for foramen ovale puncture, allowing practice for residents and young neurosurgeons.
A model for foramen ovale puncture has been created by interposition of synthetic materials over a skull, simulating the human face.
This model has shown great similarity with that found in conventional surgeries, even upon repeated testing by experienced functional neurosurgeons and young residents.
This model for foramen ovale puncture training has demonstrated valuable help for initial practicing of this common neurosurgical procedure, particularly in centers where there are not many cadavers available for training.